Interim management plan for Boyce Road property created

The Fayston Select Board is working on an interim management plan for the 93-acre Boyce Road property that the town will receive as a donation in December.

The select board voted to accept the donation this summer from Ermione LLC. Ermione LLC purchased the land in 2011, subject to an eight-lot subdivision. Following an effort in 2018 to amend the permit for four lots, the owner withdrew the subdivision application and reached out to the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) to explore options for the land's conservation and public ownership. The town’s appraised value for the parcel is $500,200.

The select board, at its October 22 meeting, reviewed recommendations for uses that would be allowed on the property once the closing takes place. Those interim uses will be replaced with a permanent plan.

For starters, signs will go up at the pond on the property noting that people swim at their own risk. Winter use of the pond won’t be allowed. Hunting will be allowed, but not hunting blinds or tents or stands. Trapping, fishing and horses will not be allowed.

There’s a cellar hole on the property and visitors will be warned about it with signage. The select board will address a dog policy for the parcel at its next meeting. The town will continue to plow Boyce Road with the plow turning around in a designated area near the Bridgewater home. Parking will not be allowed in the turnaround. Paul Eardensohn, who lives near the parcel, has offered to allow a small parking area for the public on a log landing just above the turnaround, but that won’t happen until the logs are moved and the area receives some grading.

Going forward, creating a long-term management plan will likely be a two-year process with 2020 used for research and collecting information from the county forester, Audubon, Natural Communities Inventory, historical stories and other pertinent information sources. That information will be shared with the community to focus on education and residents getting to know the property. The second year, 2021, will be focused on community forums, a survey and then drafting the plan with public input.